Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary has expressed interest in attending a Langley candidate's debate

Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary has expressed interest in attending a Langley candidate's debate

Federal Conservative leadership debate scheduled in Langley

All candidates have expressed interest, but not all have confirmed, one organizer said

A Fraser Valley debate of Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidates has been organized for Langley.

Steve Schafer, the president of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) Cloverdale – Langley City Electoral District Association, announced the debate will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Darvonda Nurseries, located at 6690 216 St.

“When we heard BC was not on the national debate schedule we were surprised, and undertook to make sure they made a stop out here,” Schafer said.

“This event will allow our members and supporters an opportunity to meet and hear from those who seek to lead our party, and ultimately the person who will be the next Prime Minister of Canada.”

The written announcement noted the Conservative Party lost nine MPs in British Columbia during the 2015 election and expected the debate will address candidates’ plans to retake those seats.

Schafer said the Langley event was organized with the support of party associations in Abbotsford, Langley-Aldergrove, and Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.

“The Fraser Valley is strong Conservative country and we’re very pleased that the leadership candidates understand the importance of including BC in the debate schedule,” Schafer said.

As of Wednesday, not all of the candidates had committed to attending, said Jim Pratt, President, CPC Langley-Aldergrove.

“We’ve had expressions of interest from everybody, but not everybody has confirmed,” Pratt told The Times.

“It’s fluid.”

In response to a Times question, Pratt said one of the yet to be confirmed was Kevin O’Leary, the businessman, investor, journalist, writer, financial commentator and television personality currently considered the front-runner.

Registration is available online at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/conservative-leadership-debate-tickets-31380117777.  Tickets are $20.